A Photographer Documents the Fantasy World of Six Shut-In Brothers (Hyperallergic)

by Carey Dunne on March 28, 2016 original article here.

Dan Martensen, from ‘Wolves Like Us: Portraits of the Angulo Brothers’ (2015) (all images courtesy Damiani and Dan Martensen)

Dan Martensen, from ‘Wolves Like Us: Portraits of the Angulo Brothers’ (2015) (all images courtesy Damiani and Dan Martensen)

For 14 years, the six Angulo brothers were locked away from society in a Lower East Side housing project. Their paranoid father forbade them, along with their mother and sister, from leaving the apartment. Movies provided their only window to the outside world: they learned almost everything they knew from obsessively watching films like Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, and The Dark Knight, and they spent their days reenacting scenes and violent, movie-inspired fantasies.

Last year, the family went from anonymous shut-ins to cult stars after the release of The Wolfpack, a documentary by Crystal Moselle that told the story of the brothers’ isolated upbringings and eventual journey to freedom. The astonishing documentary, which won the U.S. Documentary Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival last year, led to the brothers’ integration into the outside world — for the first time in their lives, they now have friends, jobs, and Facebook pages; one has a girlfriend.

Back in 2010, Moselle met these long-haired, leather-clad teenagers on the street during one of their first furtive ventures outside their apartment. Fascinated with their tale, she introduced this “Wolfpack” to a photographer friend, Dan Martensen.

For five years, every few months, Martensen photographed the boys in all their masked, superhero-costumed glory. The boys invited him to their three-bedroom Lower East Side apartment in which they grew up, giving him a tour of the imaginary realm they’d created to escape stifling confinement. Shortly thereafter, Martensen invited the Wolfpack to his house in upstate New York. There, “the boys experienced nature – wading through shallow creeks, running across fields – for the first time beyond the frame of their television.”

Dan Martensen, from ‘Wolves Like Us: Portraits of the Angulo Brothers’ (2015)

Dan Martensen, from ‘Wolves Like Us: Portraits of the Angulo Brothers’ (2015)

Wolves Like Us: Portraits of the Angulo Brothers, a new book from Damiani, compiles Martensen’s striking photographs of the brothers’ fantasy world and their first ventures out of their apartment. “In taking these images, my desire was to the reveal the true character of the boys – to give voice to their wildly beautiful imagination – not necessarily to lay bare their past, nor focus upon where they are from,” Martensen writes. Instead of revealing the boys’ backstory, or digging into the reality behind their elaborate imagination, as the film does, the photographs play into this fantasy and give it a stage. Martensen largely shot the boys at their most performative, in Joker masks and Batman suits, aiming cardboard guns at the camera. “As years of confinement finally fade from their psyche, I’ve watched this band of brothers, this ‘Wolfpack’ grow, each becoming in their respective ways, characters of their own making,” Martensen reflects. His photographs suggest that, even if they’re more unusual, these action movie-inspired characters are no less real than the so-called conventional identities any mainstream individual creates and performs on a daily basis.

Dan Martensen, from ‘Wolves Like Us: Portraits of the Angulo Brothers’ (2015)

All photos below from Dan All photos by Dan Martensen, from ‘Wolves Like Us: Portraits of the Angulo Brothers’ (2015)

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The Camera as an Afterthought: Defining Post-Photography (Hyperallergic)

by Allison Meier on October 7, 2014 original article here.

Post-Photography: The Artist with a Camera by Robert Shore

Christy Lee Rogers, “The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter” (2012), from “Reckless Unbound” (all images courtesy Laurence King Publishing)

Photography as medium is not dead, but you can argue it is in a contemporary state of flux. In his new book Post-Photography: The Artist with a Camera, released last month by Laurence King Publishing, Robert Shore amasses 300 works by artists who are using photography in an altered state, whether it’s staged, found imagery, or claiming the digital as their own.

Cover of "Post-Photography: The Artist with a Camera" (courtesy Laurence King Publishing)

Cover of “Post-Photography: The Artist with a Camera” (courtesy Laurence King Publishing)

“Post-photography is a moment, not a movement,” Shore writes. The book claims to be the first publication to look specifically at these artists who are now experimenting intensely with the found and distorted in the visuals of photography. Shore sets the current scene in an introductory essay:

“Given the abundance of pre-existing visual material in our hyper-documented world, it’s unsurprising that an increasing amount of photographic art begins with someone else’s pictures. There’s nothing new about appropriating found imagery for fine-art purposes. But the sources, methods, and goals are fast-evolving. If digital culture has transformed photographic practice — that is, how pictures are taken and displayed — it has had no less profound an impact on how found materials are sought and then manipulated.”

Each artist in the large book with its cardboard cover is given space to discuss how and why they work in a “post-photography” mode. There’s Julia Borissova delicately collaging petals on vintage photographs from the St. Petersburg flea market, along with Steffi Klenz concocting volatile chemicals on negatives of furniture she stacks on the verge of collapse. Others create their own bridges between fiction and reality, like Cristina de Middel documenting the 1960s Zambian plan to send astronauts to the moon, giving imagery to a story that lacks it. The augmentation of reality by digital means is on heavy view, especially in appropriation like Clement Valla’s Postcards from Google Earth that show highways bending at unnatural angles, revealing how the layered system of topography and aerial imagery actually works.

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Photographs of paintings with their museum glares by Jorma Puranen (photo by the author for Hyperallergic)

Cristina De Middel, "Iko Iko" from "The Afronauts" (2011)

Cristina De Middel, “Iko Iko” from “The Afronauts” (2011)

Cristina De Middel, "Bongo" from "The Afronauts" (2011)

Cristina De Middel, “Bongo” from “The Afronauts” (2011)

Yet there are all also artists actively working outside of digital manipulation, such as Christy Lee Rogers whose photographs in the water at night of people swirled in colored clothes resemble Old Masters paintings. “My intention is to create something magical that could exist, not something that I feel people will think is fake or false,” she explains.

Back in 2011, as Shore points out in Post-Photography, the World Press Photo awards caused quite a stir when Michael Wolf got an honorable mention for his A Series of Unfortunate Events Google Street View photographs. The continued break down and manipulation of photography as it stretches beyond its definitions is likely just beginning its cascade as more and more we view the world through the digital.

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Work by Brendan Flower in “Post-Photography” (photograph of the book by the author for Hyperallergic)

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Nicole Belle, “Untitled,” from “Rev Sanchez” (2008)

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Michael Wolf, “Tokyo Compression 17″ (2010), a series on commuters on the train

Richard Mosse, "Rebel Rebel" (2010), from "Infra," taken with Aerochrome infrared film

Richard Mosse, “Rebel Rebel” (2010), from “Infra,” taken with Aerochrome infrared film

Benjamin Lowy, "Perspectives II: Nightvision" (2003-08), from "Iraq" taken with night-vision goggles US military issued ISKANDARIYA, IRAQ - JULY 15: US soldiers patrol a marsh-like field as units with the 509th Infantry Division and the 3rd Infantry's Aviation Brigade launch a joint air assault, raiding over 30 targeted areas in a large rural area near Iskanderiyah on July 15, 2007 in Iskandariya, Iraq. The raid targeted IED production and a search for suspected insurgets. The area south of Baghdad has had little US army presence in the last 6 months, and is considered a haven for Al Qaeda in Iraq. (Photo by Benjamin Lowy/Reportage by Getty Images)

Benjamin Lowy, “Perspectives II: Nightvision” (2003-08), from “Iraq” taken with night-vision goggles issued by the US military

80 Photos of Old New York (1970-1989) (Superchief)

Originally posted in the NYTIMES TRAVEL November 8, 2011 –  find the Superchief article here

New York used to be a different town than it is today. People use terms like “Old New York,” and “The Bad Old Days” to talk about the 70s and 80s. In fact, the crime wave that is associated with New York City lasted well through the late 1990s.

For example, in 1977 there were 1,919 murders in New York. By 1991 that number reached an all-time high of 2,571. The murder rate didn’t dip below 1,000 until 1998. To put it in perspective, from 2000-2010, it has been hanging around 800.

I recently stumbled across a treasure trove of photos from this lost era. Some are watermarked, but many are from message boards and peoples flickrs, so it’s hard to give photo credits. Here are a few of the authors I was able to figure out:

Matt Weber
http://www.flickr.com/photos/urbanphotos/
http://weber-street-photography.com/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/dianeworland/ – http://www.flickr.com/photos/wavz13/ – http://www.flickr.com/photos/8mobili/ – http://www.flickr.com/photos/stevensiegel/

If any of these images are yours and you did not receive credit for them, please message me and I would be happy to give you a photo credit and a link